If you’ve limited your running workouts to the tarmac and track, you’re missing out. Trail running is the perfect way to switch things up. Trail running can get you to think about running in an entirely different way, and it can help you improve your performance on the road too. Trail running is a great addition if you’re following a running training plan from Custom Training Plans. Our plans are flexible enough that you can choose to incorporate trail running at any time, whether you need a 5K training plan, a marathon training plan, or a plan for any distance in between.
Getting back to nature on your runs doesn’t just provide you with great scenery. Running on trails gives your joints a break, providing additional cushion to your stride. Running on uneven ground also helps to increase your balance, flexibility, and ankle strength. The need to vary your stride length to accommodate roots, rocks, and other trail hazards improves your coordination and agility. Running on trails is one of the best things you can do for your performance on the road or track. Here are a few tips on getting started with trail running.
3 Top Trail Running Tips for Road Runners
Choose the Best Trail Running Gear.
Trail running often means switching up your gear, from specially-designed trail running clothing and shoes to other accessories you might not typically use for road running. For example, many runners find a trail running backpack to be especially handy for holding a lightweight rain vest, energy bars, first aid supplies, or other necessities. To find the best trail running packs or trail running shoes for you, it’s essential to try them on to make sure they’re comfortable — you don’t want to get deep into the woods before realizing you chose the wrong pack!
Find Your Route.
If you’re used to running on the road, you probably have some favorite routes. Now it’s time to discover new ones! It’s best to begin with trails that don’t feature too much elevation or need a lot of technical skill and build from there. Check out your local park system’s trails or get in touch with a running club. Using a trail running app like AllTrails is another great place to start.
When you run on trails, you may have less access to water sources — and you’ll want both hands free to grab onto something if you lose your balance. Many trail runners opt for a water belt on shorter runs, but on longer runs, you’re going to need something with more capacity. Just like your other gear, the best hydration pack for trail running is found through trial and error, so get yourself to your local sports store to try some on to reduce the risk of error.
Hit the Trails! If you’re interested in adding trail running training into your running training regimen, it’s important to choose a flexible training plan. At Custom Training Plans, we create training programs that are tailor-made to your fitness, distance, and more. Whether you’re aiming to complete a 5K, 10K, marathon, or anything in between, you can rely on CTP to help you reach the finish line strong with a customized running training plan.